National Police made more than 50 arrests at Madrid’s Complutense University on Wednesday morning as they attempted to clear a group of protestors who have been occupying a student building for the past week. Sources at the university explained they had been trying unsuccessfully to negotiate with the demonstrators, who are protesting against the government’s education spending cuts and reforms, and added in a press release that they were “trying to restart the activities that are on offer in the building on a daily basis to benefit and attend to the students.”
The university took the decision to call in the police “given the deterioration of the conditions in terms of safety and hygiene” in the building. Officers carried out the eviction on the same day that a strike and several other protests had been organized by student unions. Protestors are reported to have set fire to trash containers and wooden pallets as part of their demonstration.
In its statement, the university explained that employees at the Complutense had been unable to get to their offices because of the sit-in, given that the “doors had been shut from the inside with chains.” Locks had also reportedly been jammed with glue.
Given the situation, “the Madrid Complutense University has decided to reestablish normal working conditions and access to the student building,” the statement continued, adding that it regretted “the actions of intolerant minority groups, which distract from the legitimate expression of discontent and demands of other students.”